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I feel like a lot of people are giving this movie flack because they're comparing it to Bridesmaids. That's the problem with movie-goers. We call each movie, the next or the imitation or worst than or better than. On it's own, Bachelorette did really well. It's a dark comedy/ raunchy film but it's done so well. It's not common in Hollywood that you have movies where women are complex as the men. Some reviews state that they find the characters to not be redeeming, but I think that's what makes Bachelorette so strong. We have 3 complex, intriguing, and yeah, messed up individuals. What it gives you is a very plausible comedy. A review online called this the mix between Mean Girls + Bridesmaids. Aside from the similar wedding scenario, this is more the women version of the Hangover and fused with Mean Girls. Check it out, it's a good laugh ride if you're into dark comedies.
Leslye Headland's "Bachelorette" is an unfunny, miserable experience
that toddles around for 90 miserable minutes with three people so
obnoxious that you wouldn't want to share an elevator with them. It is
a comedy that strives to be an earthier recreation of "Bridesmaids" and
"The Hangover", but it is neither as clever, nor as funny as either of
those great films. This movie is aggressively bad.
What is worse is that the three leads are played by three otherwise good actresses. Kirsten Dunst, just off her triumphant performance as a bride facing the end of the world in "Melancholia" plays Regan, a girl pushing 30 who has done everything right with her life and can't understand why some rich, gorgeous hunky bozo hasn't swept her off her feet. At her side are best pals Katie and Gena. Katie is a party girl who spends most of her time coked-up or drunk. She's played by Isla Fisher who has been wonderful in films like "The Wedding Crashers" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic." Gena, played by Lizzy Caplan is just as coked-up and spends her time pining for an old boyfriend who has clearly moved on.
The story kicks off when the three friends are asked to be bridesmaids to a girl they once ridiculed back in high school. She is Becky (Rebel Wilson), a sensitive overweight girl that they once called "Pig Face." Why she called these people to be part of her special day is a mystery left unsolved. The night before the wedding, Becky's friends gather for her bachelorette party at a hotel where, naturally, a stripper shows up dressed as a cop. In the midst of his gyrating, he calls the bride-to-be "Pig-face", and Becky is (naturally) so offended that she brings the party to a halt.
In Becky's absence, the drunk Regan and Katie think it might be funny to climb into the wedding dress at the same time so that they can post the picture on Facebook. In the midst of their cruel joke, the dress rips and the next hour of the movie is spent trying to find some possible way to get it fixed. That means we get a long series of misadventures as they run around Manhattan in a panic, yelling at potential tailors when they aren't drinking, snorting or hooking up. What is truly sad is that the trio seems more concerned with Becky's wedding dress then they ever did with her feelings.
Between the the drugs, the sluttiness and their hateful demeanor, Regan, Katie and Gena are the most obnoxious trio you'll ever meet. They have no feelings. They fight all the time. They're cruel, hateful, mean-spirited and self-pitying. They are all pushing 30 and are too stoned and ignorant to figure why they're miserable. Then the movie has the gall to ask for our sympathies. As the movie grinds toward its third act (which is wall-to-wall with pre-wedding clichés), these three nitwits get serious and we get to see them fall into a pattern of pseudo-sensitive self-examination. At that point, we in the audience just want them to go away.
On the sidelines is poor Becky, played in a brave performance by Rebel Wilson, who exists around the edges of the film when she should be center stage. She's a pretty girl with a nervous smile, a good heart, and is (based on who she calls friends) apparently very forgiving. She has a few fleeting moments when she shows some humanity but they are cut short.
"Bachelorette" is based on a very dark 2010 play, and it can only be hoped that the . There are scenes in this film that are just nauseating. Did we really need a five-minute monologue of Gena's theories about fellatio? Did we need the sight of Katie vomiting into a bathtub? Did we need a best man toast that includes lewd descriptions of what he did with one of the bridesmaids the night before? Was this trip really necessary? * (our of four)
I really don't understand people who think - oh the characters are flawed, ugly people inside so I don't like it. Really? Are you seven years old? Do you live in Disneyland? Do you know anything about life or the human condition? Who. are. You? Anyway, I loved the film. It was not perfect, but definitely excellent for a first time director. Some issues: the jokes were so fast and tight that I would miss one while laughing at another, the sound mixing seemed cheap, and the rehearsal dinner scene had one of the most unfunny moments in the movie in it. Overall though the film felt honest, which is what I value most in a film. If you must compare the two I found Bachelorette to be all wit and pathos, while Bridesmaids was all fart jokes and vanilla.
This movie is funny once you get it. There is a big dip in quality the
middle of the film (cliches and ridiculous scenarios) and it gets below
average, but the writing upkicks again and it end well.
The overall trouble with this film is the characters and friendships are not established very well. As a result, it takes a while for the viewer to believe the premise of the movie (ie: why are three popular girls going to the unpopular girl's wedding as her bridesmaids?). The aspect that I struggled to understand the most, is that the director/writers do not make clear WHY the women remain friends. Yes, we know they went to High School together, obviously, but WHY have they remained in contact? Considering that two of the women now live in New York, and two now live in LA, and the three main characters barely disguise their contempt for Rebel Wilson/ the Bride... so why are they in the Bridal Party again?
This movie clearly wasn't marketed well - it is not Bridesmaids, and it is not a rom- com. The poster is awful. What is that composition, honestly?! In the end, if you go into this movie knowing it is a DARK COMEDY WITH UNLIKEABLE CHARACTERS, you'll probably enjoy it. Once I figured out the characters are assholes and are MEANT to be assholes, then it was pretty funny in parts. Not all women are "nice" and "sweet" and "kind". And they don't have to be.
***It's too bad that this movie came out in the same year as
"Bridesmaids." That coincidence contributes to shallow thinkers
erroneously setting these two films against each other. Both share a
basic scenario: a bridal party in the days before a wedding. Aside from
that, they are completely different movies.
Pick two "Civil War" films. "Gone with the Wind" and "Gettysburg." There's room in the world for both.
"Bridesmaids" was a hilarious film.***
So now... THIS movie, called "Bachelorette."
This is a dark, edgy, uncomfortable comedy. The characters are realistically flawed. They do ugly things and treat each other badly. They also obviously care for each other and make some astute observations about life. There are too many weirdly, subversively funny moments to list.
If you watch it expecting a light, breezy "chick flick" you will be disappointed. If you watch it expecting a gritty, grimly hilarious portrait of three very human women trying to overcome their own flaws and self-inflicted disasters, you'll have a damn good time.
Notes: 1) Kirsten Dunst is awesome playing a tightly-wound, abrasive control freak. I love the hard edge she has here. And the way her face betrays the fact she's always on the verge of coming apart at the seams.
2) Lizzy Caplan. FINALLY in a movie and role worthy of her comedic talents.
3) Rebel Wilson. Naturally hilarious. Too bad her role necessitates under-utilizing her gifts.
4) James Marsden. I've only ever seen him in good-guy roles (at which he is excellent). It's a confirmation of his skill that he's equally great at playing a sleazeball manipulator.
5) June Diane Raphael. The uniquely nutty, endlessly comical Raphael's cameo in the bathroom with Lizzy Caplan is easily the funniest scene in the movie.
Just because it's a comedy doesn't mean it needs to resort to name
calling or poor attempts to make you laugh. There are still people who
can enjoy an intelligent joke without being exposed to ridiculous and
"Bachelorette" is simply a waste of time. It's gross, tasteless and full of dead-end scenes that seemed to be shot just to fill a blank because the inspiration must have run out. But then you wonder: why try to revive something that is already dead from the very beginning? I still can't get over the fact that I sat through this painful experience. Avoid it if you can.
One of the most annoying films I'ever watched. From the constant, nagging soundtrack to the clichéd friends-that-would-never-be-friends-in-real- life female characters hysterically running around to fill out the tiresome 90 minutes of plot to "save" the wedding dress- nothing anyone does in this movie rings true or is remotely pleasant to watch. Characters exist as "dysfunctional" cardboard cutouts who run down the gamut of expected dysfunctions that we're first meant perceive as hilarious and bawdy, but ultimately as troubling and touching, because, you know, deep down, they're just girls looking for love. And, oh, the hook ups, mess ups and hang ups are just so funny, had I not seen them coming from a thousand miles away and a thousand comedies before. When you create messed up, stupid and selfish characters just to advance a bad comedy, it's hard to care about or buy the upbeat ending "with a heart," which is so bogus it elicited the loudest sarcastic laugh of the movie.
While 'Bachelorette' is likely to draw comparisons to last year's
comedy hit 'Bridesmaids', they're two different beasts. Produced by
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, 'Bachelorette' is much blacker and isn't
afraid to offend by portraying openly messed-up female characters as
the leads and inserting them in familiar comic scenarios.
The premise involves four high school friends Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Becky (the brilliant Australian actress Rebel Wilson), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher). The four girls who were collectively known as the B Faces as school reunite for Becky's wedding. Despite the happy facade, they're a fractured group.
Regan is a cruel, controlling woman who's secretly upset that Becky got married before her; Gena uses sex to cover her problems, even explaining detailed sex acts to strangers and Katie despite her outward craziness and love of partying - has elements of depression. Even Becky, who seems to be the most normal of the girls, is still dealing with the fallout of being teased at high school.
While the plot has been done a million times (and is similar to the Hangover movies), it's the coarseness of the characters which make this movie stand out. The girls are meant to be unlikeable and there's plenty of coarse language to illustrate that point. While the plot plays out conventionally, it doesn't drown in a sea of third act sentimentality for the sake of neatly wrapping up the loose ends. While things improve for the girls as the movie progresses, they're still the same mean girls they were at the start. It's also refreshing to see a movie with strong female characters. Probably the stand out is Rebel Wilson, having graduated from Australian sketch comedy shows to establish herself as the next great comedic actress.
If you're after a slightly darker take of the rom-com formula, 'Bachelorette' is worth a look.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie earlier today. Witnessing the critical and popular
dismissal leveled in some of these IMDb reviews compelled me to write
the adamantly positive review it deserves. First things first, let me
name the virtues of this film. The most plainly excellent detail is
that the plot is perfectly paced; in this respect it outdoes both
Bridesmaids and The Hangover, the two films most frequently compared to
it. The drama builds steadily and without halt for almost the entirety
of the movie.
Bridesmaids relied too heavily on Kristen Wiig's (admittedly hilarious) performance, while comparatively ignoring several other potentially interesting characters. Dramatically, it lulled too often and relieved too much focus from the impending wedding. The Hangover, while better than Bridesmaids, lacked the impressive dramatic pacing and humane camaraderie (as well as the outstanding cast) that bolsters Bachelorette.
Kirsten Dunst gave what may be (along with Melancholia) the performance of her career- particularly throughout the sequence in which she portrays a Regan who masterfully resists coming apart while simultaneously saving two of her best friends from a wedding disaster and a suicide attempt. It is no exaggeration to say that she exceeds herself (and the genre) and overpowers the role.
Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher play their roles ideally; while no match for Dunst, they introduce the chaotic broil of f***-ups and sidesteps that make this story both intently awful and irresistibly watchable. Caplan reprises the role she perfected in Party Down as the depressing but charming (and somewhat inaccessible) Casey, while Fisher brings the burn-out/not-fade-away-energy she is known for (from Wedding Crashers) to another level.
Now to address the criticism of those who can't abide this movie. The complaints tend to fall into two categories: of those who refuse to see the redeeming value in a movie filled with such repugnant personalities (and such small moralizing), and of those who believe the movie failed its own dark comedy agenda by finishing with a predictable happy ending. There is no point in addressing reviews that make both complaints. Their contradictory desire for a movie that is ultimately both redemptive and damning only shows that they are not able to clearly formulate their thoughts or express themselves.
The first category of complaints is eminently understandable. Bachelorette often jokes with borderline offensive humor, and at times the jokes cross the border into the realm of the seriously offensive. Most of Trevor's (James Marsden's) commentary falls under this warning label, as he spouts the pickup pseudo-psychology that is despairingly commonplace among young men, shows indifference toward the prospect of rape, and takes it for granted that women like being treated as objects. Similarly does the recurring nickname "pig-face" for Rebel Wilson's Becky, incite a knee-jerk reaction against the debased characters in this movie. But we should not commit the fallacy that congenial characters make a good movie, or that the words of the characters are the ideology espoused by the movie. Ethically, I think Bachelorette performs the critical function of revealing to us the unpleasant aspects of our culture, and facing us with the surprisingly difficult truth that our most serious problems are neither irresolvable nor unfunny.
The second category of complaints, those who did not find the film dark enough, is easily addressed. Yes, I admit it has a happy ending. There was a wedding, two of the three leads end up in relationships, the transcendence of love is affirmed. But the only character who receives a properly happy ending is Rebel Wilson's Becky, perhaps the least important person in the film, more a plot device than a character. Gena and Katie still have serious emotional issues to work over, and their relationships are far from stable or long-lasting. And Regan is still further from the ideal of marriage than she was in the beginning.
In the film's final accounting, Regan empowers herself without jumping through the relationship hoops that all romcom female leads are traditionally subject to. Likewise, she avoids becoming a victim, a soapbox, or a pretty face who is just glad things have settled down. In a plain moralistic sense, the "best-behaved" characters all end up with the best fates: Becky, the virtuous axis at the center of this pandemonium, receives the perfect wedding; Gena and Katie fall into stabilizing relationships, as unwitting in happiness as they were in their depression; all while Regan, the wicked and energetic type-a core of this ensemble, receives nothing, but instead actively attains her own hope for redemption (which comes without a man attached).
This won't be a popular opinion, but I think this film is among the best of 2012, and I believe Kirsten Dunst's performance is Oscar-worthy. I think Leslye Headland, Dunst, Caplan, Fisher, and their cinematographer all deserve recognition for producing this illuminating and entertaining picture.
Having said all this, I would not recommend the movie to my parents. Please do your research if you are easily offended. But those acclimated to the Apatow brand of domestic gross-out comedy will not find anything here out of place, only better executed. If you have a stomach for raunch, and can deal with beautiful women portraying intelligently-written characters, please see this movie. It will delight you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With a cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher,
Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, and Adam Scott, I had a lot of hope for
the Sundance film Bachelorette. What I didn't expect was with this
talented of a cast the result would be a lifeless comedy that has some
semi-humorous moments, but ends up as one of the biggest wastes of
potential in recent comedy history.
Bachelorette tells the story of Regan (Dunst), Gena (Caplan), and Katie (Fisher), three girls who are bridesmaids in their high school friend Becky's (Wilson) wedding. From the start, the objective of trying to be a raunchier and more ridiculous Bridesmaids is laid out with the set up of the wedding and the focus on the three bridesmaids. However, while succeeding in being raunchier and more ridiculous than Bridesmaids, Bachelorette doesn't have half the heart or spirit as the far superior Kristen Wiig comedy.
Quickly on we establish the strong personality differences between our four girls. Becky, the bride, has grown up quite a bit since high school and her steps into marriage have her partying less and wishing for a very quiet bachelorette party. On the flip side, Gena and Katie are two girls that are looking forward to the chance to party at a bachelorette rave, Gena making sure to pack her cocaine in a baby powder bottle and Katie drinking whatever she can and popping whatever pills she finds. And finally, there is Regan, who couldn't have been casted any better than Ms. Pole-Up-Her-Ass Kirsten Dunst.
What I mean by Dunst being casted perfectly is that there is absolutely nothing redeeming about the character of Regan, much like Dunst's performance. She walks through the steps and says the lines in the script like a bitch robot trying to make a quick payday. And while Caplan and Fisher are type casted as well (the smart-ass and the dumb party girl), it is Dunst's Regan that is absolutely the toughest part of this film.
When actually stepping back and looking at these three characters, it makes almost zero sense that any of the girls enjoy the other two's company. They constantly fight, bitch, and mock each other and reveal each other's darkest secrets in a series of angry moments, drunk mishaps, and stupid speeches. All of these are written for seemingly comedy purposes, but they make each of the characters so dumb and self-centered that it is hard to like or cheer for any of them.
After a botched stripper show at the bachelorette party, Becky goes off to bed leaving the three bridesmaids to drink, do drugs, and, ultimately, rip the bride's dress. And thus, the film goes from the story of the wedding to a wild night of trying to get the dress fixed; sort of a mash between The Hangover and Bridesmaids. But what is so frustrating is how dumb these girls are. For example, after ripping the dress, they drag it around the city trying to get it fixed, having it reach the pinnacle of places you wouldn't want it to inhabit: a strip club bathroom. The irrationality is not humorous. It is outlandish and dumb making you think how easily these situations could be avoided instead of making you laugh at the screen. In fact, the entire film could have never existed if two of the dumb girls hadn't stepped into the bride's dress together and ripped it in the first place.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/bachelorette/
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